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The latest HR Faux pax throughout the latest episode of Line Of Duty.
Chloe's Line of Duty blog - The Scapegoat (S2, E2)
This week’s episode started with the AC12 inquiry into Operation Lighthouse going official – their main source: Officer J. Cut to scenes of Jatri looking very distressed and having a private chat with the Super. We soon find out she’s requested a transfer, for “personal reasons”.
Cue Davidson using her position of power to speed up Jatri’s exit from her team, assuring the Super he’ll have a Tribunal on his hands as there are ‘issues’ with Jatri. Super immediately forgets about the ‘personal issues’ and doesn’t bother digging any deeper – are we surprised? Employment laws work a bit differently in the police, but a manager in the Super’s situation would be setting themselves up for an unfair dismissal or discrimination claim. It’s an excellent example of why any manager faced with reports of underperformance should never take the information they’re given at face value – might there be an ulterior motive behind the report? LOD wouldn’t be a watchable drama otherwise – but it happens in real life too.
We were treated to lots of other lines of intrigue – was Vella murdered because she uncovered high-level corruption and links between organised crime and the force? Why was Hastings meeting with Stef about HMRC and does it have something to do with her big TV and comprehensive Sky package? Will Arnott accept the AC12 promotion or go for the transfer to serious & organised crime, and now that Stef knows about his pain issues is the clock ticking for him? Is Fleming working a double (or is it triple – I’m losing track) bluff? What’s the deal with newbie Ryan Pilkington and where does DI Fleming recognise him from?
Well, if you’ve been a keen LOD viewer you might recall Pilkington’s shady past – a troublesome youngster on a BMX as a member of the balaclava gang in Series 1 terrorising the neighbourhood and delivering burner phones, then part of an organised crime gang in series 5 he attempted to cut off Arnott’s fingers and committed the murder of undercover police officer John Corbett. The twist at the time was that while he involved in all that criminal activity, he was sitting exams to become a police officer – and now here he is. I feel a lot more plot brewing around Pilkington.
Just when we think AC12 have cracked this one early, Davidson pulls a dastardly genius move in her disciplinary meeting – agree with Hastings’ assessment but throw not only her colleague, but her ex-girlfriend, under the bus. She’d already set the scene with the Super early on, it was easy for her to send them round to Jatri’s house where they discovered Davidson’s burner phone stash. With Davidson having cleared out all of her personal belongings (now we know why she bothered taking her wrecked jacket), Jatri’s version of events rang hollow to everyone but us.
Poor Jatri – heartbroken, concerned for her safety having turned whistle-blower, and now she’s the one under suspicion looking like no more than a lover scorned. Surely once AC12 are done with their investigation Jatri will be cleared – but how long will that take, and at what cost to her well-being? There’s another HR lesson here – things aren’t always as they seem. It can be dangerous to jump to conclusions before carrying out a thorough investigation.
The episode ended with Davidson picking up another burner phone – and she didn’t look very happy about it.
So now we know, without a doubt, Davidson’s up to no good - but we still don’t know why. It looks like she’s under duress. Does that excuse her behaviour? Unlikely, but it might be mitigation – perhaps once more unfolds we might even feel sorry for her. Maybe.